# Goals for Math Majors

What should a Mathematics major know, be able to do, and/or have achieved when s/he graduates?

***** Downloadable PDF of Goals for Math Majors *****

**Develop Mathematical Maturity**

- Feel comfortable finding sources
- Take initiative to find out things on own
- Intellectual independence
- Read proofs critically (question, understand, verify)
- Don’t take anyone’s word for it.

- Move from concrete to abstract thinking and back with facility
- Understand something well enough to create your own examples

- Analyze: what is given? what is known? what is unknown?
- Understand the value of a community of learners
- Value and take advantage of group study as a tool
- Participate in (and create) a math community (people and ideas)
- Develop an advisor/advisee relationship
- Connect with past, present, future peers
- Engage each other mathematically

- Recognize patterns and connections between other subjects and mathematics
- Recognize patterns and connections between areas within mathematics
- Synthesize ideas across math courses
- Read and understand symbolic language
- Develop symbiotic facility with symbolic and verbal/written language

**Logical Thinking**

- Demonstrate the process, not just the answer
- Provide evidence to support arguments
- Organize and construct a logical argument
- Develop problem solving “skills”

**Communicate Effectively in All Forms (written, oral, etc.)**

- Clear, precise, thorough
- Understand and write for an audience
- Articulate arguments clearly and succinctly
- Speak about math before a variety of audiences (students, faculty, professionals) in a way they can understand
- Writing
- Develop a voice
- Write works that are interesting to read
- Eliminate assumptions (writing should stand alone)
- Use appropriate mechanics

**Intellectual Development**

- Develop self-critical skills (know what you don’t know and how to address it)
- Risk failure for the opportunity to succeed
- Know how to access knowledge (learn how to learn)
- Develop mathematical and intellectual confidence

**The Basics**

- Exposure to a wide variety of concepts
- Enjoy mathematics
- Preparation for a variety of challenging careers
- Computational ability (with use of software such as MATLAB)
- Math typesetting software (such as LaTeX)